Home / Computing / Laptop / MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review

MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review review

Ardjuna Seghers




  • Recommended by TR
MSI Wind U100-291UK - Exclusive Review


Our Score:


It's a netbook-eat-netbook world out there, except this is one sphere where the big don't necessarily eat the small. What once was a fairly exclusive niche market demanding premium prices (with the Psion Teklogix NetBook Pro costing well over £1,000 upon its debut) has burgeoned into a tidal wave of miniature notebooks vying in various ways to win your heart and wallet. It was all reawakened, of course, by Asus and the original Eee PC 701, but from its humble origins things have developed rather rapidly, with the likes of the MSI Wind introducing larger 10.1 inch screens and more comfortable keyboards to boot.

Asus, of course, was quick to respond with its own 10in machine. And, when we looked at its Eee PC 1000H, it beat the Wind squarely (despite the latter's superior keyboard) thanks to more features and its far superior battery life, courtesy of a six-cell battery compared to MSI's paltry three-cell. However, the Wind is back, now in black, and with some important upgrades - including a bigger battery. Will this revision be enough to beat the Eee?

Starting off with the visual side of things, if the white models we reviewed before looked good, the grandly-titled 'Empire Black' one looks even better. Of course it's still glossy, so fingerprints will be a problem, but a shiny finish seems almost inevitable on a netbook these days. And though there's no cleaning cloth provided, MSI does give you a rather nice zipped case, with a fake leather exterior and soft fleece lining on the inside. Once you open the piano-black lid, with the MSI logo now in off-white, the interior of the notebook is thankfully matte plastic; though marks from sweaty or greasy hands are still visible on the palm-rest and touchpad.

Build quality, as before, is decent enough though the Wind's lid does tend to wobble a bit for a few seconds after you open it, and this doesn't inspire as much confidence in the hinge as the Eee PC's more stable and considerably larger version. Still, it's unlikely to be a problem if you're careful, which is necessitated anyway by the mechanical hard drive that's more vulnerable to life's bumps and scrapes than a solid state drive. At 160GB, however, it's not only double the capacity of the previous Wind, it's also the highest-capacity hard drive of netbook we've yet reviewed - so those after as much storage space as possible should find this Wind to their liking.


October 2, 2008, 4:45 am

I always totted the MSI Wind / Advent 4211 as being way better to use in everyday situations than the Kiddie Eeeeeeeepccc range - all 976 of them ;) This just makes the case even more compelling, although it's still too expensive - 𧶲 inc VAT would have been appreciated more!


October 2, 2008, 5:19 am

Why is the power LED the Be unlimited asterisk?

I was expecting the battery life on this to meet or exceed that of the eee 901 but it sounds like it could be as much as an hour shorter under the same usage conditions. That's pretty disappointing.

Tony Walker

October 2, 2008, 12:26 pm

Has the wired ethernet been tweaked to be gigabit?

There should be large (7800mAh I think) third party batteries available soon I seem to recall reading on msiwind.net


October 2, 2008, 12:59 pm

"I always totted the MSI Wind / Advent 4211 as being way better to use in everyday situations than the Kiddie Eeeeeeeepcc"

That's really only an aesthetic thing. There's little practical difference.


October 2, 2008, 5:34 pm

Ardjuna, I'm being thick. Why should the inclusion of Norton Internet Security 2008 be arguable in a netbook? Thanks

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 5:41 pm

@Mike Williams - Because running an anti-virus on a system using an Atom processor will cripple performance.


October 2, 2008, 5:49 pm

Andy: So what do you do to protect from viruses?

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 6:30 pm

Be careful. ;)

Actually, this is one of the obvious reasons why Linux is a far better idea for netbooks. Since they don't require anti-virus, it's one less thing to worry about and ensures you don't bog your machine down with various scanners.

Tony Walker

October 2, 2008, 7:39 pm


I think he meant the keyboard. The one on the Wind nee Advent 4211 that I have is close to the Dell Inspiron 7000 keyboard which I rate as the best laptop keyboard I have ever used.

My provenance? I am still using an IBM PS/2 keyboard as my main desktop PCs keyboard. Best keyboard bar none - I've also used some pretty decent other ones too.


October 2, 2008, 7:43 pm

my advent 4211 has no problem of having internet security running on the background while photoshopping.. of course with added 1gb mem


October 2, 2008, 9:07 pm

@andy: Let's hope the virus situation with Linux lasts. But are you saying don't bother with the Atom if you need to run XP? Thanks again


October 2, 2008, 9:31 pm

Shameless plug: Kaspersky has nearly no performance hit when running... but install something like a Norton product and expect to see things slow down - although most techies know this anyway.

Andy Vandervell

October 2, 2008, 9:33 pm

I wouldn't go that far, but if you're going to run anti-virus I'd opt for something lighter and less resource intensive than Norton.


October 2, 2008, 10:02 pm

I thought Norton 2009 had changed all that and was now one of the most frugal AV solutions?

(Sorry, going slightly off-topic)


October 3, 2008, 3:25 pm

@Pbryanw: unfortunately this Wind came with Norton 2008.

comments powered by Disqus